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Fwd: Sankalpam
Date: Thu Aug 12 1999 - 08:24:57 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas
I am forwarding my reply to a query raised by Sri Balaji Seshadri on the 
subject of Sankalpam to be done in USA. Hope this will be useful for other 
members of the list. If there is any variation, I would like to hear from 
other scholars in the group.
Anbil Ramaswamy

attached mail follows:

Dear friend
I give below excerpts from Chapter 21 of my book "Hinduism Rediscovered" 
dealing with the Sankalpam. The exact names of Thithi, VAra, Nakshatra etc 
can be obtained from any almanac of the year (Panchangam)
Hope this helps.
Anbil Ramaswamy
The Sankalpa which every Hindu makes  while initiating any religious 
practice, invariably refers to the exact locale where the rite is performed 
with reference to the Hindu Cosmology.
( e.g.) In India, the locale part of the Sankalpa would be as follows :
Jambudveepe                          In the isle of the rose apple
Bharata Varshe                       In the region called Bharata Varsha
Bharatah Khande                    In the continent of Bharata etc.
Those doing  the rites in the U.S.A, adopt the same as follows:-
Krouncha Dweepe             In the island called Krouncha
Ramanaka Varshe                    In the  region called Ramanaka Varsha
Aindra Khande                            In the continent called Aindra
Prasantha Saagare*:             Near the Pacific Ocean
Pushkara Kshetre*               In the locale known as Pushkara
Rocky - mickelny Parvatayor Madhye*  : Between the mountains of Rockey and 
Misissipi- Missouri Ityadhi Aneka Shodasa Jeeva  Nadeenam sameepa stite  : 
the place that is surrounded  by such perenniel rivers like Mississipi , 
Missouri and  16 other rivers 
* These are optional. Some priests use these; others leave them.
It may be noticed that any rituals which a Hindu performs  on auspicious as 
well as inauspicious occasions always start with a fixation of the precise  
time, the star, the day, the Thithi, the fortnight, the month, the season, 
the half year , and the year on the micro side as also  the quarter of the 
yuga,  the name of the yuga , the name of the  cycle, the Manvantara,  and 
the Kalpa  on the Macro side. In fact, orthodox Hindus do this reckoning 
daily in their 'Nitya karma Anushtana' the daily routine Puja ( honouring)  
of their Ishtadevata. In this way the formula for describing the exact time 
in the eternal cycle has been passed on from generation to generation. This 
is what we call the "Sankalpa' before commencing any rituals. This is also 
true of fixation of the exact location where the ritual is 
already discussed in the   'Section on ' Space'.
Now, let us have a look at this Sankalpa: It goes on like this:
Dviteeya parardhe                                            In the second 
half of Brahma's life
Svetavaraha Kalpe                                           In the Kalpa of 
Sveta Varaha
Vaivaswatha Manvantare                                In the reign of 
Vaivaswatha Manu
Ashta Vimsati me                                             within the 28th 
Kali Yuge                                                          In the 
Kali yuga
Prathame Pade                                                In the first 
quarter thereof

Then, the Sankalpa refers to the  geographical position of the place where 
the ritual is performed. and this has been explained in the section on ' 
Space'. Resuming the reference to time, the Sankalpa proceeds further as 
Asmin Varthamane Vyavaharike                :     In the current period now 
Prabavadi Shashti Samvatsaranam Madye :    Among the cycle of 60 years 
starting from                                                                 
........ Nama Samvatsare                              :       in the year 
Dakshinayane or Uttarayane                      :       in the Soutern/ 
Northern movement of the Sun
..........Ritou                                                 :         in 
the season named.......
......... Mase                                                  :        in 
the month of...........
...........Pakshe                                               :       in 
the bright / dark fortnight  thereof
...........Punya Thithou                                 :         in this 
holy Thithi numbered........
............Vasara uktayam                                :        on the day 
.............Nakshatra uktayam                        :        when the star 
called.........holds sway
Then, the Sankalpa proceeds to say that the ritual 
performed for the pleasure of the Lord.
If you need more information, please feel free to contact me